"Subject RE Sunset Review of the Texas Medical Board"
Page 1 of3 Dawn Roberson From: stan jeffries Sent: Sunday, December 14, 2008 1:35 PM To: Dawn Roberson Subject: RE: Sunset Review of the Texas Medical Board Performance Study Dear Dawn Roberson, The email message below was sent to the Texas Sunset Commission. RE: Sunset Study of the Texas Medical Board From: stan jeffries Sent: Sun 12/14/08 7:32 PM To: email@example.com Dear Julie Fullingim and Sunset Commission, I am writing concerning the Texas Medical Board (TMB)'s November 2008 Sunset PerformanceStudy. The study admits, in the last paragraph of page 1 of this study, that, "Within the agency's enforcement division, increasing numbers of complaints, quality of care cases, .. could contribute to higher enforcement costs." What is alarming, is the end of the page 1 first paragraph, in which the Sunset Commission has "no recommendations." Here's one: Rather than throwing more money at an agency which is clearly failing in its Mandate to "protect Texans," from bad doctors and bad hospital systems, the Sunset Commission should SHUT the TMB DOWN. The study admits on page 2 that the TMB's functions include, "investigating and resolving complaints and taking disciplinary action when necessary ... and monitoring compliance with disciplinary orders." However, the TMB could more accurately be described as a racketeering colluder with criminal doctors and hospital systems which OUTRIGHT DENY PATIENT HEALTHCARE. Nowhere could this outright denial be more blatant that in the case of courageous patient and whistleblower Aleithia Artemis. After patient Aleithia Artemis had suffered and made numerous due diligence attempts to report an entire series· of OUTRIGHT DENIALS OF HEALTHCARE at the Search Project's Houston Healthcare for the Homeless (HHH) clinic, she eventually went to the Harris County Hospital District's Northwest Healthcare Center for a duly scheduled appointment with TMB licensee Susan Backes. Yet. Susan Elizabeth Backes "failed to practice medicine in an acceptable professional manner consistent with public health and welfare." She OUTRIGHT DENIED patient whistleblower Artemis ANY office exam or healthcare of ANY SORT whatsoever. She showed her premeditation to get away with doing this by moving patient Artemis to a different exam room from the one originally assigned. Backes even grinned, gloated, and used foul language concerning her OUTRIGHT DENIAL of ANY healthcare for Ms. Artemis whatsoever. And Backes fabricated documentation such that she GOT PAID ANYWAY. The Harris County Hospital district and the Northwest Healthcare Center likewise participated in Backes' scam. The study admits on page 3 that it has thrown $8.4 million to enable "the agency to focus more resources on enforcement of its statute and rules." Yet it abysmally failed to perform such enforcement in Ms. Artemis' case. The State of Texas is squandering money by throwing it at an agency which has failed to do its required enforcement. Page 7 of the study makes the false allegation, "The boards enforce state laws and Board rules by investigating complaints against licensees, taking disciplinary action if necessary, and monitoring licensee's compliance with Board orders." In actual fact, the TMB boards LIED ON BEHALF OF the bad doctors and hospital systems in 12/15/2008 Page 2 of3 . Ms. Artemis' case. They further outright refused to be responsive to Ms. Artemis's due diligence follow-up contacts with the TMB: The very patient whom these bad doctors and hospital system(s) OUTRIGHT DENIED HEALTHCARE. Page 9 of the study has a flowchart. Yet at no point in this flowchart is there any loop back to the Complainant to verify allegations which turn up in the processing of a Complaint. So guilty doctors, administrators, etc., just lie with impunity, as they got away with doing in Artemis' case. Appendix A of the study has a bunch of useless data. It fails to mention the only material data: What a Complainant had to say, concerning the disposition of their Complaint! Appendix B fails to "protect Texans" from bad doctors, as it fails to name the guilty licensees! Nowhere has the negligence of the TMB been more flagrant than in the case of courageous whistleblower patient Aleithia Artemis. Artemis exposed the corruption of the entire Harris County Hospital District when her doctor, Susan Elizabeth Backes, outright denied her medical care. The brave Artemis duly went up the chain of command, documenting the details of Backes' conduct before the Northwest Health Center, where the denial of healthcare occurred, to the hospital and medical directors. When they failed to respond, she documented the events to the entire Harris County Hospital District board. They too, failed to respond. The entire chain of command failed to step forward and discipline that doctor, or even make a reasonable contact with the patient who had launched the formal complaint. Ms. Artemis then duly brought the series of events to the attention of the Texas Medical Board. Yet the TMB has acted reprehensibly, in demanding that whistleblower Artemis be forced to endure a violation of her Patient Rights to Confidentiality, as a condition of the TMB fulfilling its duty to bring legal proceedings against the guilty parties involved. The TMB needs to do its job, and protect the public from this kind of atrocity, or be shut down, before it continues to harm other Texans with impunity. According to the TMB, "If sufficient information and evidence are obtained through the investigation to suggest that there has been a violation of the Texas Occupations Code, the case is scheduled for an informal settlement conference." Yet at no time was Complainant "invited to (any) conference." Susan Elizabeth Backes "failed to practice medicine in an acceptable professional manner consistent with public health and welfare." She OUTRIGHT DENIED patient whistleblower Artemis ANY office exam or healthcare of ANY SORT whatsoever. She showed her premeditation to get away with doing this by moving patient Artemis to a different exam room from the one originally assigned. She even grinned, gloated, and used foul language concerning her OUTRIGHT DENIAL of ANY healthcare to Ms. Artemis whatsoever. And she fabricated documentation so that she GOT PAID ANYWAY. The Harris County Hospital district and the Northwest Healthcare Center likewise participated in Backes' scam. The relevant portion(s) of the violations of the Texas Occupations Code are: SUBCHAPTER B. LICENSE DENIAL AND DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS Sec. 164.051. GROUNDS FOR DENIAL OR DISCIPLINARY ACTION. (a) The board may refuse to admit a person to its examination or refuse to issue a license to practice medicine and may take disciplinary action against a person if the person: (6) fails to practice medicine in an acceptable professional manner consistent with public health and welfare; Sec. 164.053. UNPROFESSIONAL OR DISHONORABLE CONDUCT. - Backes' gloating, grinning, and the use of foul language concerning the fact of her commission of OUTRIGHT DENIAL OF HEALTHCARE certainly fall within both categories above. Recommendation: SHUT THE TMB DOWN. 12/15/2008 Page 3 of3 Yours truly, . Stan & Melinda Jeffries Houston, Texas Subject: Sunset Review of the Texas Medical Board Performance StUdy Date: Thu, 4 Dec 2008 12:29:08 - An agenda for the December 15 and 16 meeting of the Sunset Advisory Commission is now available on our website, www.sunset.state.tx.us 12/15/2008